We’ll Drink to That
by Loree Dowse | December 2016
While fresh-squeezed fruit juices have become common on any cocktail menu worth its bearded mixologist, some of America’s best bartenders are turning to vegetables to incorporate more unique components into their drinks. The two might seem an unlikely pair at first, but the juxtaposition of savory and spirited provides a fresh slap of flavor that really wakes up your taste buds.
I’ve had vegetable-based cocktails on my mind for a while, partly because that’s my job and partly because I think it’s a trend worth paying attention to. To that end, I’ve dug into online menus, Eater articles, and Yelp reviews to compile the list below from restaurants and cocktail bars around the country that feature – you guessed it – vegetables that are available from Mann’s. I know I’ve been inspired to bust out my oversized shaker – hopefully you will too.
Cheers to the Holidays!
Sugar Snap Peas
Living Room Bar & Terrace, New York City
Created by Eben Klemm, the Sugar Snap Pea and Mint cocktail combines aquavit, simple syrup and muddled mint, lemon and sugar snap peas. Topped with ginger beer and garnished with a snap pea and mint sprigs, the cocktail’s refreshing sweetness goes down easily.
At celebrity chef Jose Garces’ culinary destination, the bar offers a Sugar Snap cocktail. After experimenting with spring peas, snow peas and snap peas, beverage manager Gordana Kostovski decided to pair freshly-juiced sugar snap peas with vodka, Amontillado sherry and fresh citrus, resulting in a vegetal yet smooth creation.
Oliver’s Prime, Los Angeles
The Green Machine at Oliver’s Prime adds fresh kale, spinach, cucumber and lime juices to Hendrick’s gin. Splashes of simple syrup and club soda provide the cocktail with a bit of sweetness and body while producing a drink that actually IS good for you.
Bryan Canales’ Dr. Green Thumb at Miami’s Radio Bar makes it easy to be green. A mix of Solbeso, Mezcal, pressed cucumber, lime juice, kale syrup, and orange bitters, it’s just the right balance of vegetables and fruit.
Named after the Hawaiian term for “sugarcane,” Kō serves up its Maui Beet Bellini, a combination of juice from Upcountry Maui beets, maple syrup, Prosecco and dashes of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The result: a tasty concoction with health benefits.
Gran Electrica, Brooklyn
In Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, Gran Electrica offers the Margarita de Remolacha, mixing fresh beet and lime juices, Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, Combier and simple syrup. Garnished with thinly sliced fresh beet and lime, the drink provides a flavorful alternative to a standard margarita.
The down-home cocktail menu at Julep in Houston includes a root vegetable–based standout, The Amethyst Flip. The bar celebrates the classic Southern ingredient by combining puréed purple sweet potatoes with cognac, sloe gin, champagne, nutmeg and a whole egg to form a colorful drink that pays homage to the Diamond Fizz.
Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, NC
At A Chef’s Life star Vivian Howard’s accolade-laden restaurant, mixologist Brian Roberts concocts The Fall Guy, an amalgam of sweet potato puree, brandy, aged rum, orange juice and black walnut bitters that is topped with Tia Maria and vanilla cordial cream.